Fierce community debate in the Tweed region over the proposal to have a McDonald's restaurant in south Murwillumbah has concluded with approval from the Tweed Shire Council.
The new complex will feature a 24-hour fast-food outlet and a supermarket.
Tweed Shire councillor Joan van Lieshout says the approval marks a sad time for the community who is concerned about the culture, landscape and small business livelihood of the area.
"We're heading down a road where economic development will be impacted by a GFC [global financial crisis] and yet here we are approving a development that is going to take business out of the centre of Murwillumbah," said Councillor van Lieshout.
Tweed Mayor Barry Longland voted in favour of the proposal saying that "one must look at the issue on its merits and I think there are positive aspects about the development.” He also expressed hopes for the divisions in the community caused by this matter will be healed by time.